12 July 2018

South Africa: Cars but No Roads in Eastern Cape Village

The people of Mahlubini near Cofimvaba in the Eastern Cape have run out of patience with Intsika Yethu Municipality. In early May, the municipality offloaded stones on the village roads, rendering them almost impassable. The stones (locally known as sabhunga) is meant to be crushed into gravel in order to fix the road surface. But the steam roller has not come and the roads are almost impassable.

"The day the municipality came to offload these sabhunga, we enquired how long the project will take, and we were told not more than two weeks," said resident Thembikosi Maphikana. "We have had these piles of rocks for a long time. We have cars but cannot use the road."

Resident Mziwanele Lindo said, "I am now forced to take public transport as I cannot use my car on these roads. So basically I am paying for a car that I cannot use."

Ward 14 Councillor Malibongwe Gulubela said, "I have told the people of Mahlubini that we are waiting for a roller to crush the stones ... I am in constant contact with the technical team of the municipality to speed up the process."

Zuko Tshangana, communications officer at Intsika Yethu Municipality, said, "The reason the road construction was halted was because the municipal dozer and roller are working somewhere else and as a result the job could not be finished. But as the municipality we are adamant that the job at hand at Mahlubini location will be finalised at the end of July. We apologise for any inconvenience caused."

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